The LVC 501
The 501 is Levi's most famous, sought after model. It was the original, the one that started it all. The fit that so many other brands recreate and mimic. True vintage 501s can go for a pretty penny and are the pair that thrifters, collectors, and denimheads around the world look to find in the 2nd hand stores.
LEVI'S® VINTAGE CLOTHING (LVC) is one of the brand's higher end lines that offers a taste of the company's historic past for those who don't want to spend hours going through old clothing racks or spend thousands of dollars. The 501 has gone through many variations throughout the years and has changed due to wars, lack of raw material, and the economy. Just as tough as the denim itself, the 501 has made it through it all!
The different 501 LVC models, excluding the 1947, are below:
*All Photos Above from Union Made
Levi's has even done "special edition" models for various anniversaries that are released on May 20th (called "501® Day" to commemorate the date of the 501 patent):
*All Photos Above from High Snobiety
All of these models and we are not even taking into account all of the other 501 models that Levi's has come out with! If you are looking to get a pair of 501s that are selvedge, and possibly raw, the LVC models are what the brand currently offers. Unfortunately, you have to be more diligent if you want a pair that is "Made in the USA" from this collection because like most Levi's jeans these days, most of them are imported. In my opinion, it is really is a shame for this 'heritage' line.
Initial Impressions of the 1947
The model I have is the Dark Wash and was comfortable right away. The fit is perfect and I got my usual size 32" waist. Regular rises seem to suit my frame better as well as slim straight fits. The inseam is also 32" which I thought I might need to get hemmed to around 29"-30" but the length is perfect on the 1947 501s for some double cuffing without appearing too obnoxious.
Don't get me wrong, these are a nice pair of jeans for those who want to feel like they are owning a piece of history (so to speak) and rock the brand and model that started it all. The fit is good, the fabric feels great, and the construction is solid. If the price point was lower, I would say that these are a very nice pair of jeans. However, since Levi's feels that their name is worth more money than the actual quality of their products, you are better off finding these second-hand or during a sale.
Jeans I Own that Replicate the 501 and are Very Well Crafted:
Companion Piece: (Some) Alternatives to Levi's Vintage Clothing 501s
About the Company
I had been checking out the Railcar Fine Goods jeans at Mildblend Supply Co. and came away impressed with the build quality and the fabric. When I was finally able to get a pair on my legs, they did not disappoint! The slub denim, even at 16.5 oz. (it seems to be available in 15 oz. weight as well at some retailers), was comfortable right away, before and after the initial soak. With raw denim being known to require a break in, this came as a pleasant surprise, especially at the higher end of the mid-weight category.
My Spikes X034 are a size 32" and has a standard inseam of 34" (32" on waist sizes 28" and 29") and mine are hemmed to 29.5" which seems to be just right (I am 5'9"). I am really impressed with the overall fit which not only looks great, but is as comfortable as sweatpants! With the top notch construction, I can see this pair of jeans ones that I will be wearing for along time!
Purchase the Spikes X034 16.5 oz. from Railcar Fine Goods
Purchase the Spikes X034 15 oz. from Context Clothing